Working in transcription we encounter all sorts of recordings, but covert transcription is certainly one of the most challenging

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this sector, many of our clients who request transcripts of this nature will usually be requiring them for some form of legal dispute/case.  Whether they are produced for Forensic Scientists, Solicitors, Police, Local Authorities, Government Officials, or the general public, it takes a dedicated and highly adept transcriber to decipher the content.

What is Covert Transcription?

Due to the hidden locations of the recording devices, when you first listen to a discussion that has been captured covertly, you can often hear a lot of garbled nonsense.  This is where years of practice, patience, diligence and skill come into play, because it can often take an hour to transcribe two to three minutes of a recording.

It goes without saying that you have to work in an environment that is free from noise and any surrounding distractions.  Your listening skills become sensitised and with the use of superior headphones and a wide variety of transcription software, you slowly start to unravel the distorted voices.

Patience Pays Off:

Transcribers who work in the field of covert transcription are unique and talented individuals who turn what is thought to be an undecipherable account into a document that captures the most sensitive and often alarming material.  You have to have a calm disposition and plenty of patience to methodically keep replaying and listening over and over and over again at tiny segments of a conversation.

Our reward for working on such intense material is when we see the finished document and can breathe a sigh of relief that we’ve accomplished such a difficult task.  It is often hard to believe that we manage to produce a legible and accurate account of such complex audio.  But covert transcription, though challenging, takes true experts such as Alphabet to deliver.

We’d love to hear how you approach covert transcription, and welcome your comments.